The OJ Simpson case passed me by in 1994 and 1995. I was a teenager when the murders and subsequent trial took place. I’m not into sports at all so his sporting achievements meant nothing to me and being on the other side of the pond his celebrity status wasn’t really on my radar. This was a time when about two other people in my class in school had internet access and the only rolling news channel was Sky News-even the BBC would shut down for the night after a particular hour.
So I wasn’t expecting to be as gripped and mesmorised by the TV series about this trial as I was. I hadn’t thought much about the case for a long time and I only happened to watch the first episode because my husband was away for a night and it was on at a convenient time. I’m extremely glad I watched it, because it is thought provoking on many levels. The age I’m at now and my life circumstances mean I relate a lot to the juggling Marcia Clark was doing during the case, alongside constantly being judged based on what you’re wearing. I couldn’t help but wonder how she’d be expected to cope with Twitter these days and what cruel hashtags would accompany her various makeovers.
Vanity Fair did a really interesting series of fact checks and I fell down a rabbit hole reading about a trial I remembered little about, beyond the fact that it was shown on TV-shocking for me because here trials simply don’t ever appear on TV-and the verdict was an event in itself. Gofugyourself also had a recap of each episode, and again the links within the recaps fleshed out a lot of the case for me.
As with any TV show, things need to be rearranged and dramatised for both artistic and storytelling reading. I was so glad to see the two victims shown at the end of the last episode. And another detail shook me, namely, how young they both were. I’ll turn 35 this year, the same age Nicole was when she died. Ron Goldman was only 25, and was killed because he was doing a good deed and, as much as I hate the phrase, was in the wrong place at the wrong time. It didn’t strike me at the time, but it certainly does now, that justice and the law are often two very different things.